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Bullfighter and the Lady [Blu-ray]

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Robert Stack (TV's The Untouchables) stars as Chuck Regan, a brash American skeet shooting champion whose visit to Mexico introduces him to two irresistible forces: the exotic Anita de la Vega (Joy Page) and the lure of the way of the matador. Unflinching in his confidence, Regan sets out to conquer both. He arranges to learn bullfighting from an icon of the Mexican corrida, Manolo Estrada (Gilbert Roland). But Regan's headstrong assertiveness and desire to impress Anita gets the best of him when he debuts in the ring and knows there's only one way and one place he can redeem himself. The stellar cast includes Katy Jurado, Virginia Grey and John Hubbard. A John Wayne production - beautifully and stylishly directed by Budd Boetticher (Seven Men From Now), this was his breakthrough film and first under the name Budd, previously used the name Oscar Boetticher, Jr. Originally released at 87 minutes - This is the restored 124 minute director's cut.

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Stack, Joy Page, Gilbert Roland, Katy Jurado, Virginia Grey
  • Directors: Budd Boetticher
  • Writers: Budd Boetticher, James Edward Grant
  • Producers: John Wayne
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: July 30, 2013
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,604 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By William J. Lund on July 4, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Director Budd Boetticher's "The Bullfighter and Lady" gets a well deserved Blu-Ray release after a extensive restoration by UCLA in the 1980s. It's been restored to its original 124 minute running time after being cut down by John Ford to 87 minutes which he and John Wayne (the producer) felt was good enough for second feature on a double bill. If you are interested in Bull Fighting or honest human drama this is a wonderful film. I'm not going to comment on the Blu-Ray disc (which I don't have yet), but I will give the reader some background on the making of the film, some trivia, and the restoration it went through in 1980s.
The director Budd Boetticher, was a former matador who served as technical advisor for the earlier bullfighting film "Blood and Sand." He was able to convince John Wayne to go ahead and do his own bullfighting film to be shot in Mexico. He got Robert Stack to play the Americano lead, Gilbert Roland as Mexico's most famed Matador, and Katy Jurado as his devoted wife. Joy Page (from Casablanca) played Stack's love interest.
I was fortunate to attend a special restoration showing of this film in the late 1980's at UCLA. Present were the director Budd Boetticher and star Robert Stack (Gilbert Roland, then in his 80's was scheduled to attend, but for health reasons did not come). Robert and Budd told several anecdotal stories about the film and restoration which I will relate as best as my memory serves.
As to the restoration, I believed Robert Gitt. Film Archivist of UCLA, knew the original cut of the film was longer and wanted to see it restored. At some point it became known that Robert Stack had a complete 16mm print of the film and this would be the basis for the restoration of the film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Snow on March 22, 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is one of the best male bonding films ever made. It's right up there with "Gunfight At The O. K. Corral". You believe in the men's brotherly love (Robert Stack, Gilbert Roland and Antonio Gómez) and their deep love for their women (Katy Jurado and Joy Page).

The plot tells about a young American who goes to Mexico to try his hand at bullfighting. I will not go any further into the plot, because there are so many layers to this rivetting film. It is a movie about a passion for a calling, it is also about love, devotion, forgiveness and redemption. (The movie runs a little over 2 hours.) You are never bored during the romantic interludes as it usually happens in these types of films about macho issues. Despite his Oscar for "Written On The Wind", this is Robert Stack's finest hour. It is Also Roland's and director Boetticher's. The b&w photography alone will take your breath away. Why this film was originally butchered by the distributor is understandable since most audiences are queasy about bullring gore. The only weak link is a tepid romantic interest in the person of actress Joy Page, a rather colorless presence. Katy Jurado obliterates her every time she walks onscreen. Pier Angeli would have been a better choice. Well, nothing is completely perfect, but this epic comes very close.

Five big stars in every department including the restoration with some tiny flaws that have already been explained by a more knowledgeable reviewer. For heaven's sake, if you love movies grab this collector's treasure. And kudos to Olive Films for putting it on DVD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen P. Rhodes on May 2, 2014
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
When I read Robert Stack's autobiography, Straight Shooting, I was intrigued by what he said about the making of this movie. He actually learned some bullfighting moves, and though the scene with the full-blown bullfight at the end was, I'm sure, done with a double who was an actual matador, in the earlier scenes at the tienta (the training camp, if you will, for aspiring bullfighters) he actually is fighting the young animals -- which are cows, not bulls. It's explained in the movie. They still have horns, and it is still dangerous to fight them, especially for a novice with little experience.

This movie takes a look at the world of bullfighting, its legends, its mythology, its romance and its risks. I have seen a bullfight, in Seville, Spain. There is spectacle, ritual, and mythology attached to it -- and brutality, too. It is not a sport, and I don't say that critically, but rather to say that it is a social and cultural ritual. It is a play of life and death. This movie gets us into that ritual, with many of the men performing as matadores in the movie, and having roles in the story, being actual matadores. The love story is done well, too, with Joy Page as a young and sophisticated Mexican woman with whom Johnny Regan (Robert Stack), an American sportsman, falls in love.

Robert Stack must have had a clause in his contracts that he got to show off his shooting abilities in his movies. In Great Day in the Morning, which I reviewed, he teaches a young boy how to shoot a pistol. In Bullfighter and the Lady, he teaches a senior matador of great reputation how to shoot skeet, something at which Robert Stack held a record of 364 consecutive hits at the age of 17.

This VHS is the theatrical version, which is shorter than the director originally envisioned. The expanded director's cut of this movie has been available lately on Amazon Prime, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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